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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

UFS hosts the first Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme
2012-11-26

The University of the Free State is to host the first Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) from 1 December 2012 to 28 February 2013. 

This will form part of an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity-building programme jointly organised by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), based in Austria.
 
The NRF, as the National Member Organisation (NMO), in collaboration with DST, has developed a novel and innovative initiative with IIASA to establish the SA-YSSP. This programme was officially launched by the Minister of Science and Technology during November 2011.
 
IIASA is an international research organisation that conducts policy-oriented scientific research in the three global problem areas of energy and climate change, food and water and poverty and equity (www.iiasa.ac.at). South Africa’s engagements with IIASA, and specifically with regard to the SA-YSSP, relate primarily to the DST’s Ten-Year Innovation Plan.
 
Aligned with the YSSP model that is presented by IIASA in Austria annually, the SA-YSSP offers scientific seminars covering themes in both the social and natural sciences. These seminars often have policy dimensions and aim to broaden the participants’ perspectives and strengthen their analytical and modelling skills, further enriching a demanding academic and research programme (www.ufs.ac.za/sa-yssp).
 
Keynote lectures are to be delivered by national and international leaders in their respective research fields, partly drawn from IIASA’s widespread network of alumni and collaborators, as well as from the NRF’s extensive international networks of excellence.
 
The programme is to be enhanced with specific field trips and cultural and heritage excursions that will involve networking with locally based research programmes. Supervisory teams of both IIASA and South African experts will guide a cohort of competitively selected South African and international advanced Ph.D candidates.
 
The programme will be opened on 2 December 2012 at the Centenary Complex by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, the Director/CEO of IIASA, Prof Pavel Kabat and the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, Prof Jonathan Jansen. They will be joined by a number of Nobel Prize Laureates and luminaries representing the government, the diplomatic sector and Higher Education.
 
The programme is directed by a multidisciplinary team at the UFS that includes:
Prof Aldo Stroebel and Prof Neil Roos (Co-Directors)
Prof André Roodt (Dean of SA-YSSP)
Prof Martin Ntwaeaborwa and Dr Henriëtte van den Berg (Deputy-Deans of SA-YSSP)
Dr Priscilla Mensah and Dr Sonja Loots (Strategic Managers)

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